“TRIPHALA- The wonderful Ayurvedic herbal formula”

    Triphala simply means “three fruits”. This is a traditional Ayurvedic preparation commonly used in many households in India as a remedy for acute and chronic constipation.  It is a combination of three fruits, that when combined, acts as a mild laxative as well as a tonic to clean out and sharpen the entire digestive system.

             The three fruits used in this formula are:

  1. Chebulic Myrobalan (Ayurvedic name- Haritaki AKA harada): The biochemical constituents include anthraquinone glucosides known as sennoside, tannins, ellagic and gallic acids, chebulinic acid and fixed oils. This herb-fruit is known to have laxative, astringent and vermifuge (expels intestinal worms) properties. Out of the three ingredients of triphala, this one is known to be the highest contributor of laxative action. It  a non-habit forming laxative and a tonic, especially when combined with the other two ingredients of triphala. In its tonic properties, it is shown to promote longevity, rejuvenate, stimulate enzymatic actions and help transform arteriosclerosis. It is called “ho-tzu” in Chinese medicine. Chinese medicine classifies it as having warm energy and bitter, sour and spicy taste. It is known to be used by the Chinese for intestinal problems, including worms and parasites, to strengthen the lungs, for chronic diarrhea, chronic cough, dysentery, gas and also for female leucorrhea. An early sixteenth century herbal, Tabernaemontanus, claimed this herb-fruit of having purgative properties and it also benefited the heart, promoted appetite, cleared the skin (one reason for us women to consider this blend), strengthened the nerves and helped in eliminating depression (M.Tierra,1998). So, now we know that this 1st ingredient has both eliminative as well as tonic properties.
  2.    Emblic Myrobalan (Ayurvedic name-Amlaki, AKA Amla or Indian gooseberry): According to “shusrut”, the great Ayurvedic authority, this herb-fruit is considered the best among all the acid containing fruits and is known to be the most useful in maintaining health and fighting diseases. It is a very high source of vitamin C. The vitamin C content of one amla fruit is equivalent to 20 times the vitamin C content of an orange. It is also very valuable to note that the vitamin C content in this fruit is thermostable as it is bound up with certain tannins that make it nearly resistant to dissolution after drying, aging or getting exposed to heat .This fruit is also shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. It is very sour to taste and is regarded as a tonic herb-fruit in India. This herb-fruit has mild laxative and rejuvenating properties. It is also known to be beneficial in failing eyesight, thinning of hair, skin diseases, hemorrhoids, diabetes, heart disease, anemia, asthma, diarrhea, jaundice and bronchitis. This herb- fruit is also known to help clear mucus and foul phlegm from the intestinal tract (M. Tierra, 1998). Indian gooseberry is shown to have revitalizing effect for e.g. it is a old mother’s tale in India that an ancient sage by the name chyavan used this herb-fruit to rejuvenate himself and gain his virility during his late 70’s. Indian gooseberry is shown to improve body resistance and thus help protect against infections (H.K. Bakhru, 2007).
  3.  Beleric Myrobalan (Ayurvedic name- Bhibitaki AKA behada): This herb is known to be useful in mucus and lymphatic congestion. This is the third fruit of triphala and is particularly useful in elimination of the mucus. This herb-fruit is also shown to be useful in conditions like bronchitis, asthma, Vomiting (especially morning sickness during pregnancy), allergies, constipation and colicky pains. Just like the other two herb-fruits in the triphala blend, this one also benefits the eyes and hairs, helps in regulating bowels and is known to be good for digestion.


        As per the information shared above, the “TRIPHALA” blend serves as a mild laxative and tonic to clean up and sharpen the entire digestive system. Haritaki or Chebulic myrobalan regulates the nervous system; Emblic myrobalan is the highest source of vitamin C and is also an anti-inflammatory and Beleric myrobalan helps clear mucus from the channels of the body. Harada and behada have warm energy while amla has cool energy thus making this a balanced blend.  In totality, triphala is a mild, non habit forming laxative, a tonic and a blood and liver detoxifier. It is also widely known as rasayana or rejuvenator as it is also shown to rejuvenate the whole body. Triphala is also known to be used as an eye wash for relieving eye strain and sharpening vision. Triphala when taken on a regular basis is also shown to promote absorption and utilization of vitamin B. An Indian saying states “If you have no mother and have triphala, everything will be all right!”(M. Tierra, 1998).

** The above information is for educational purposes only. Consult your doctor for specific medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. **


1. Tierra, M. (1998). The way of herbs. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc

2. Bakhru, H.K. (2007). Healing through natural foods. Mumbai, India: Jaico publishing house.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Komat Prasad on February 3, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Did you know that Triphala can be used as a facial pack for application during the winter season ? Just mix it with haldi, chandan and besan ! its amazing !


  2. Yes i know the skin, hair and eye benefits of triphala are amazing. I use it regularly.


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